Day 451: Kohlrabi

Hayward, Wisconsin, is a town of roughly 2,000 inhabitants on the Namekagon River. Hayward Lake is in the middle of town, and there are a large number of lakes in the surrounding area, including Grindstone Lake, Round Lake, Moose Lake, Windigo Lake, Teal Lake, Ghost Lake, and Lost Land Lake. As might be expected, tourism, especially fishing, is an important industry in the area.

Laetitia took her group to the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame easily recognizable by the 200-foot-long fiberglass statue of a muskellunge (also called musky or muskie—an exceptionally large sport fish, up to six feet in length and sometimes weighing 70 pounds). After the museum, the group hiked around one of the local lakes and browsed through a local farmers’ market. Laetitia loved to shop at farmers’ markets when she was home and getting ready to cook, but there wasn’t much she or her group could do with fresh produce while on tour. However, the market also had entertainment and food and crafts that her group found interesting.

After arranging to meet her group at a restaurant, Laetitia went to a Hayward drinking establishment to write the limerick of the day. She sat at the bar next to a young organic farmer who introduced himself as Bobby. He immediately went into a spiel about the marvelous aphrodisiac substances found in kohlrabi, a vegetable he raised on his organic farm and the source of his great sexual prowess. When it became clear that Laetitia wasn’t buying his pitch, he confessed that it was something he had read on an organic farming blog and thought it would be a good line for picking up women. So far this ploy had given him little success, even with girls his friends considered “fast,” so he was looking for another approach. He was thinking of raising horny goat weed next. Laetitia smiled. Bobby had given her the limerick of the day.

When an organic farmer named Bobby
Tried enticing young girls with kohlrabi
It fell flat in Hayward
Even with ladies wayward
So he thought he should find a new hobby.

Day 449: Mable from Cable

Laetitia and her group drove through Wisconsin along the south shore of Lake Superior, passing through the small towns of Herbster and Cornucopia on the way to Bayfield, where they went on an excursion boat ride among the Apostle Islands. Next they drove south along the shore of Chequamegon Bay, stopping to hike at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center before heading to Cable, where they were spending the night.

Cable is a town of about 800 inhabitants in northern Wisconsin’s lake country. Its population swells dramatically every February during the American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race that starts in Cable, and also each September at the time of the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival Mountain Bike Race that ends there. At the bar during happy hour, Laetitia heard some gossip about the restaurant where she and her group were having dinner later, and she transformed it into the limerick of the day.

A randy young waitress named Mable
Created a scandal in Cable
For it was her great joy
To have the bus boy
After quitting time under a table.

Day 448: Superior Interior

Sharing the harbor with Duluth, Minnesota, is Superior, Wisconsin, the second of the Twin Ports. With a population of 27,000, Superior isn’t as large as Duluth (280,000 residents), but it features a number of places of interest to tourists. Laetitia and her group started the day by visiting the S. S. Meteor, a “whaleback” cargo ship designed by Alexander McDougall. From 1887 to 1898, 33 of these were built in Superior. When fully loaded the decks were awash, decreasing buffeting from wave action. The crew was housed and the vessel piloted from islands fore and aft, elevated above the deck.

Afterward the group visited Fairlawn, a 42-room mansion once owned by an industrialist and former mayor, and they visited a former firehouse built in 1898 with a castellated tower that is now a museum of firefighter and police memorabilia.

Before joining her group for dinner, Laetitia visited the Thirsty Pagan Brewpub and wrote the day’s limerick from some gossip overheard there.

For Arnold no thought could be cheerier
Than his girlfriend who lives in Superior
And his only complaint
Is that she has restraint
And won’t let him into her interior.

Day 201: De Smet Regret

They proceeded west across the border to De Smet, South Dakota. De Smet is one of many communities that can say, “Laura Ingalls Wilder lived here.” Laura was born near Pepin, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Charles Phillips Ingalls, a restless man who frequently changed occupations and locations. Her father worked as a farmer, butcher, justice of the peace, railroad worker, and hotel manager at various times and in various places in Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Iowa, before the family finally settled in De Smet. There Laura taught school (at age 16) until she married Almanzo Wilder. Later she wrote the “Little House” books about a young girl growing up in pioneer times. Laetitia took her group to the Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead, but she could think of little about Laura Ingalls Wilder that would make a good limerick, so afterwards she took everyone to an Irish pub for dinner. While her tour guests dined, Laetitia sat at the bar with a Guinness hoping for some gossip that could be turned into a limerick, and she was not disappointed.

Young Arlo soon came to regret
That caper when he and Yvette
Were caught nude in church
And left in a lurch
On Youth Night in downtown De Smet.